When you finish up at Stern you’re allowed to take a ‘free’ class (I hesitate to say it’s free because you’ve already made a tremendous investment in the MBA, but you don’t pay specifically for the credits to one class).  I took advantage of our ability to go outside of Stern and I signed up for the Introduction to Computational Media Course at the Interactive Telecommunications Program school in Tisch.  To say it’s been enriching to spend Tuesday evenings in the ITP school would be an understatement.  Learning new skills in a creative environment has really helped me in all aspects of my work.   I don’t think that I could have identified what I would gain from being in the class before taking it,  but looking back it’s very clear to me that this has been a immensely valuable experience.

There’s a mentality that I think a lot of upcoming business executives accept that is career-limiting.  I believe that there’s an over-emphasis in our graduate level schools on gaining depth within a functional area,  or only focusing on training and coursework that directly relates to your career path.  While I agree that’s the primary purpose of a graduate degree, I think a lot of value can be unlocked by learning completely new things that at first glance appear unrelated to your current skill set and career goals, especially courses that are creative in nature.  Intro to Comp Media has been that experience for me.  For everyone outside of an academic program, I’d encourage you to check out a skillshare class.

Back to my rudimentary coding skills. Processing is a computer language that’s primarily used by visual artists.  For our last assignment, we had to create a ‘chance composition’ using the object-oriented approach to development.  I made a pretty ridiculous looking space ship that meanders it’s way through some random stars.  Overall, nothing to write home about.  However, re-learning some of the fundamentals of coding has really helped me communicate with the real developers that I work with on a daily basis, and it’s been a great experience to get outside of my comfort zone.